Jim Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: Stay Along for the Ride

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- "I'm not giving up on the stock market," Jim Cramer told his "Mad Money" TV show viewers Thursday, as he took on the bears who claim that a bubble is at hand and markets will soon crash.

Cramer said that while yes, it's true that the Federal Reserve has been propping up the markets with low interest rates and cheap money, their actions have also created a lot of "collateral positives," which are making up for spending cuts that are taking money out of the economy. The Fed's actions are not only making stocks attractive compared to every other asset class, they're also giving companies the ability to refinance and grow and hire, and giving the housing market a much needed kickstart, which ripples down to many other sectors.

The bears may charge that stocks are expensive, but tell that to shareholders of Kimberly-Clark ( KMB), which announced a spinoff that sent shares soaring. The bears also fear inflation, Cramer noted, but as of yet, there still are no signs inflation is nipping at our heels.

Is there a bubble in Internet stocks, like Twitter ( TWTR)? Cramer said absolutely, but even there, it's hard to know whether a Twitter or Yelp ( YELP) will become the next Amazon.com ( AMZN), which makes their valuations at least logical.

Given that now is the time of year when money mangers are insatiably buying stocks to solidify their portfolios for year's end, Cramer said it's hard to make a case to sell in the current environment. That's why he advised taking some profits, but staying along for the ride with everything else.

Executive Decision: Cheryl Bachelder

In the first "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Cheryl Bachelder, CEO of AFC Enterprises ( AFCE), a stock that's up 60% for the year, but also one that got hammered 7% in today's trading despite offering up a six-cent-a-share earnings beat on a 26% rise in revenues and a 5.1% increase in same-store sales.

Bachelder explained that she felt it was important to let investors know that with consumer confidence waning, AFC was seeing a slowdown in its growth. That said, she noted that their guidance remains solid and Wall Street may have overreacted to the tempering of expectations. It has been a great year for franchisee profits, Bachelder noted, and Popeye's remains a best-in-class franchise.

Bachelder was also optimistic about her company's prospects globally, saying that not only can it double in size in the U.S., but there are many opportunities to position the brand to compete internationally and so far profits have been strong overseas as well.

When asked whether the weakness in the stock is an opportunity to buy back more shares, Bachelder reiterated that the company plans to retire $15 million to $20 million worth of stock this year, but remains committed to investing cash to grow organically. She said that AFC has delivered 22 consecutive strong quarters and the company wants to be a reliable investment for shareholders.

Cramer said while AFC may have guided expectations lower, any other restaurant chain would kill to have the growth even at the low end of AFC's guidance. This stock is a buy, not a sell, he concluded.

Sell Block

In his Thursday "Sell Block" segment, Cramer said he made the tough decision to add Abercrombie & Fitch ( ANF) CEO Mike Jeffries to his "Mad Money" Wall of Shame, the list of the worst CEOs that need to retire and turn their companies over to new management.

Cramer said in an environment where even JCPenney ( JCP) had some positive things to say, Abercrombie announced hideous earnings last week and has seen its stock fall 27% for the year. While Jeffries has a great track record of successes in the past, Cramer said the aging CEO has simply lost touch with his customers, turning Abercrombie into an irrelevant brand.

While the apparel retailer continues to close underperforming stores in the U.S., Cramer noted that its still building new ones overseas, this despite the fact that sales overseas also continue to erode. The company has also been horrible at managing expectations, having slashed its estimates by more than half so far this year. Abercrombie simply isn't cool anymore and the company hasn't changed with the times, Cramer said.

The good news is that Jeffries' contract expires at the end of the year, and Cramer said he hopes the company fires him promptly and brings in new, younger management that understands just how bad a situation Abercrombie is now in.

Lightning Round

In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Morgan Stanley ( MS), Gentex ( GNTX) and Lowes ( LOW).

Cramer was bearish on Exxon Mobil ( XOM), PhotoMedex ( PHMD), Home Depot ( HD) and Aeropostale ( ARO).

Executive Decision: Susan Salka

In the second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down in studio with Susan Salka, president and CEO of AMN Healthcare Services ( AHS), a health care staffing and cost contentment provider to hospitals.

Salka noted that AMN has been diversifying itself to become less economically sensitive. She said what started out as merely a temporary staffing agency is now a full-service staffing solutions provider for those in the medical profession. Using AMN's services, Salka explained that hospitals can run leaner with less staff while still retaining the ability to flex up when demand arises.

When asked about the effects of the new Affordable Care Act, Salka said that in the short term, she sees little effect from the law, but over the longer term, many hospitals and other medical facilities are planning for increased staffing needs to handle an influx of patients.

Cramer said that he believes AMN will be a big story in 2014.

No Huddle Offense

In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer sounded off against the hideous quarter posted by Cisco ( CSCO), a stock that Cramer owned for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS, before selling its entire position today.

Cramer said that he and many others are wrong to put their faith in Cisco, which is clearly pushing the wrong products to the wrong people in the wrong markets at the wrong time. That said, it's also clear that business in just about every emerging market on the planet has fallen off a cliff.

Cramer said that despite the U.S. having the most dysfunctional, anti-business government, it still manages to outshine the rest of the world, which is exactly why our markets are thriving while others are ailing.

To watch replays of Cramer's video segments, visit the Mad Money page on CNBC.

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-- Written by Scott Rutt in Washington, D.C.

To email Scott about this article, click here: Scott Rutt

Follow Scott on Twitter @ScottRutt or get updates on Facebook, ScottRuttDC

At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS was long LOW and MS.

Jim Cramer, host of the CNBC television program "Mad Money," is a Markets Commentator for TheStreet.com, Inc., and CNBC, and a director and co-founder of TheStreet.com. All opinions expressed by Mr. Cramer on "Mad Money" are his own and do not reflect the opinions of TheStreet.com or its affiliates, or CNBC, NBC Universal or their parent company or affiliates. Mr. Cramer's opinions are based upon information he considers to be reliable, but neither TheStreet.com, nor CNBC, nor either of their affiliates and/or subsidiaries warrant its completeness or accuracy, and it should not be relied upon as such. Mr. Cramer's statements are based on his opinions at the time statements are made, and are subject to change without notice. No part of Mr. Cramer's compensation from CNBC or TheStreet.com is related to the specific opinions expressed by him on "Mad Money."

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